Middletown moves forward with cheaper parking to offset NJ Transit fare increase

The ordinance voted on Monday night brings the price of parking down from $6 daily to $5.

Naomi Yané

May 7, 2024, 2:18 AM

Updated 12 days ago


About three weeks ago the mayor of Middletown proposed reducing the parking fee by 15% to offset New Jersey Transit’s fare hike. The city council unanimously voted to move forward with that plan in hopes of giving residents a financial break.
The ordinance voted on Monday night brings the price of parking down from $6 daily to $5. For those who have a yearly permit, that rate would go from $375 to $315.
Mayor Tony Perry hopes this brings some relief to Middletown commuters.
"It is some savings for that commuter and to ensure not only that the town is being able to provide the services necessary, but also to provide them with that little extra money back into their pocket,” Perry says.
New Jersey Transit announced a fare increase earlier this year to close a budget gap brought on by low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency plans to increase fares by 15% in July and an additional 3% increase yearly.
Perry says that this is not fair to New Jersey residents.
"Now you’re asking the residents of Middletown and the residents all up and down New Jersey that are using and relying on NJ Transit - you’re asking them to go further into their pocket without any explanation as to why these fees are going up other than ‘COVID killed us,’” Perry says.
Frank Santomauro is a Middletown resident and is thankful for the savings.
"It is rather expensive. You work, you commute and then you have a good chunk of that money put back in,” Santomauro says.
Middletown officials say parking lots generated $175,000 last year in the township of 68,000, where many of them are commuters. With the town's $100 million budget, the mayor says the loss of revenue is minimal and promises residents will not see a tax increase.
Perry says he plans to move expeditiously, now that the ordinance has passed. He says the new rates will kick in long before Jersey Transit’s fare hike takes effect.

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